How To Dress For An Interview

how to dress for interview

No matter how experienced you might be, or how many degrees you have, when it comes to job interviews, everyone gets nervous. The more they want the job they are interviewing for, the more nervous they will be. Although quelling these nerves is all but impossible, being prepared will help you feel better.

As well as having a good idea of what is written on your resume, researching the company you are interviewing at, and having a few questions ready to ask at the end of the interview, having an outfit ready to wear is something that will help you feel prepared and more at ease.

Leaving your outfit selection until the morning of your interview and only then discovering that something needs to be put into the laundry, or that your heel is broken, for example, is not going to help with your nerves – it will even make them worse.

Choosing your outfit with plenty of time to spare, getting it cleaned, ironed, and laid out ready to wear for your interview will put you in control and make you feel more confident. Yet choosing that outfit can be difficult; there are just so many options, and it can be hard to know what to wear. Read on to get some ideas that will help you pick the ideal interview outfit for you.

Be Professional

When you are interviewing for a job, you need to look smart and professional. Your clothes need to fit well and be clean, and you also need to be comfortable in them. Keeping these crucial elements in mind will help you to choose an outfit that will work for you.

You should never wear high heels and a dress if you dislike wearing them; you can wear lower heels and a smart pantsuit instead. If you are feeling uncomfortable, you won’t be able to answer the questions properly as you will be distracted.

There are no rules as such in place for interview clothing which is why it can be hard to pick something, but stay away from jeans, tennis shoes and sneakers, and t-shirts and wear clothes that you would wear to the office for work if you want to stand out for the right reasons.

Not Too Bright

It’s good to be yourself and show your personality during an interview, but you don’t want to do it in such a way as to be a distraction for the interviewer. The last thing you want after working hard on your Spring Arbor nurse educator degree and gaining all the knowledge and skills you need to get the job is to fail at the interview stage due to wearing something distracting or unnecessary that will put the interviewer off.

You don’t have to – and shouldn’t – hide who you are, but remember this is not a friendly chat or a chance meeting; this is the rest of your career and just one day of wearing more muted colors isn’t going to hurt if it means your interview goes more smoothly.

Your Hairstyle

Clothing is one thing, but it’s not everything. You should also consider how you are going to wear your hair for your interview. Again, a distracting hairstyle is not going to be a good idea as you want the potential employer to pay attention to what you are saying. If they don’t, they won’t really remember you once you leave the room and you won’t stand a high chance of getting the job.

Ideally, your hair should be neat and tidy. If it is long, it should be kept out of your face. You might choose to wear it in a ponytail or a bun, for example.

If you like to wear it loose, that’s no problem, but brush it well beforehand and ensure it is not in front of your eyes. Don’t fiddle with your hair either; it can be a nervous habit and not a good look for an interview. If you think you might keep touching your hair, then pull it back even if this is not your usual style – it will take the temptation away.


Makeup is an entirely personal preference, and if you don’t normally wear it, then there is no reason why you should do so for your interview unless you feel that this is the right thing for you.

If you usually do wear makeup, then it can often be the case that simply using the usual amount and type that you would put on to go to work or go out for the day is going to be just right because you’ll feel comfortable this way.

If you’re wondering about making changes and you’re happy to do so, then the idea of ‘less is more’ should be considered. If you usually wear a lot of colorful makeup, for example, then you might choose to tone it all down and use more natural colors. This way, the interview is about what you say, not about how you look.

Other Considerations

There are many considerations to take into account when dressing for an interview. We’ll go through a few of them now so that, no matter what conditions you are up against, you’ll always have a backup plan for your attire.

  • Warm Weather

It can be hard to look professional and smart when the weather is warmer. Jackets are less comfortable, and keeping cool is hard, and even harder when you are nervous. Jackets are not always going to be required as long as your top or blouse is smart.

Remember to take antiperspirant with you and use it just before you need to go inside to keep you fresh and comfortable. Always drink plenty of water so that you are hydrated and can answer questions thoroughly. Take a change of clothes with you so that when you are done, you can change and feel more comfortable for the journey home.

  • Accessories

Accessories such as jewelry and hair clips can help or hinder your interview outfit. If you always wear a specific ring or necklace, for example, check that it will go with your outfit; if not, take the jewelry off for the interview and keep it in a pocket or purse. You can put it back on afterward.

Too much jewelry is another distraction, so pare it down if need be. If you wear a watch, make sure you don’t check it during the interview as this will look impolite.

Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest author.

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